EP0116421B1 - Reflective audio assembly and picture - Google Patents

Reflective audio assembly and picture Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0116421B1
EP0116421B1 EP19840300438 EP84300438A EP0116421B1 EP 0116421 B1 EP0116421 B1 EP 0116421B1 EP 19840300438 EP19840300438 EP 19840300438 EP 84300438 A EP84300438 A EP 84300438A EP 0116421 B1 EP0116421 B1 EP 0116421B1
Authority
EP
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
sound
enclosure
assembly according
wall
speaker
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired
Application number
EP19840300438
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP0116421A1 (en )
Inventor
George P. Sadorus
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Sadorus George P
Original Assignee
George P. Sadorus
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R1/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones
    • H04R1/20Arrangements for obtaining desired frequency or directional characteristics
    • H04R1/32Arrangements for obtaining desired frequency or directional characteristics for obtaining desired directional characteristic only
    • H04R1/34Arrangements for obtaining desired frequency or directional characteristics for obtaining desired directional characteristic only by using a single transducer with sound reflecting, diffracting, directing or guiding means
    • H04R1/345Arrangements for obtaining desired frequency or directional characteristics for obtaining desired directional characteristic only by using a single transducer with sound reflecting, diffracting, directing or guiding means for loudspeakers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G1/00Mirrors; Picture frames or the like, e.g. provided with heating, lighting or ventilating means
    • A47G1/06Picture frames
    • A47G1/0616Ornamental frames, e.g. with illumination, speakers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G11INFORMATION STORAGE
    • G11BINFORMATION STORAGE BASED ON RELATIVE MOVEMENT BETWEEN RECORD CARRIER AND TRANSDUCER
    • G11B33/00Constructional parts, details or accessories not provided for in the preceding groups
    • G11B33/02Cabinets; Cases; Stands; Disposition of apparatus therein or thereon
    • G11B33/06Cabinets; Cases; Stands; Disposition of apparatus therein or thereon combined with other apparatus having a different main function
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R1/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones
    • H04R1/02Casings; Cabinets ; Supports therefor; Mountings therein
    • H04R1/028Casings; Cabinets ; Supports therefor; Mountings therein associated with devices performing functions other than acoustics, e.g. electric candles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G1/00Mirrors; Picture frames or the like, e.g. provided with heating, lighting or ventilating means
    • A47G1/06Picture frames
    • A47G2001/0694Picture frames comprising means allowing the frame to be supported on a horizontal surface
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S40/00Card, picture, or sign exhibiting
    • Y10S40/906Sound

Description

  • The present invention relates to a reflective audio assembly and combination of such assembly with a picture frame.
  • Various audio visual combinations have been proposed in the past in which a picture, for example of a person, is displayed in a picture frame which is associated with some form of sound reproducing means which is capable of playing back a personalized audio message from the person shown in the picture. One such combination is shown, by way of example, in my prior United States Letters Patent No. 3,857,191. In that Letters Patent several embodiments of picture frame and sound reproducing mechanisms capable of reproducing utterances by the person displayed in the picture are disclosed. In general, each of these embodiments includes the combination of a picture frame which receives and displays a personal picture and a housing associated with the frame which contains certain specific audio playback mechanisms for playing back the personalized message through a speaker in the housing. The speaker may either be directed to the front of the frame or the sides or the rear of the housing.
  • I have now discovered that an improved effect can be produced, not only by directing the sound forwardly from the picture frame (which indeed is shown in one of the embodiments of that prior US patent) but by so constructing the assembly that the sound from the speaker is first directed into a sound receiving enclosure, and thence issues through an opening at the front of the assembly, preferably beneath the picture frame, the sound being directed forwardly and also deflected downwardly by sound deflecting means, so as to be reflected from a planar surface on which the assembly is standing. It has been found that this substantially enhances the tonal and directional qualities of the sound.
  • Proposals have of course been made from time to time for improving the quality of sound from speakers. Examples include GB-A-247361 (Fig. 11) where the sound from a speaker issues horizontally from a horn into which the sound is led to be reflected from the closed back end of the horn, and FR-A-988,848 where the loudspeaker of a radio receiver is directed downwardly towards a reflector which spreads the sound outwardly in all directions. In neither case was the suggestion made-to combine the apparatus with a picture frame, nor to direct the sound downwardly for reflection from a planar surface on which the apparatus stood.
  • The downward direction of the sound waves can be influenced by various means. Thus in one preferred embodiment the sound issues through an opening in a wall at the front of the assembly, this wall being inclined at an obtuse angle to the bottom of the sound receiving enclosure. In another embodiment the speaker is positioned at a location spaced away from the front wall of the sound receiving enclosure (preferably behind an opening in the top wall of the enclosure) and is reflected off sound deflecting means in the enclosure.
  • In one form of the invention the sound receiving enclosure includes top and bottom walls, side walls and a front wall, in which is located the opening through which the sound emerges, the enclosure being adapted to be supported on a substantially planar surface. The picture frame is located over a portion of the top wall, or it may itself define a portion of the top wall of the enclosure. The means for mounting a sound speaker is located so that it directs the sound from the speaker into the enclosure at a location spaced from the front wall, the sound waves being influenced by sound deflecting means so that the sound leaving the opening in the front wall is deflected downwardly in the direction in which the picture is displayed.
  • In another embodiment support means are provided for supporting the picture frame on a substantially planar surface. A housing incorporates the sound receiving enclosure, and this may form the support for the picture frame. The sound receiving enclosure includes at least a front wall adjacent to the bottom of the frame, the opening through which the sound issues being located in the front wall. The sound speaker is preferably located so that it directs the sound into the sound receiving enclosure at a location spaced from the front wall, so that the sound is subjected to reflection within the enclosure before issuing from the opening which is desirably inclined at an obtuse angle relative to the surface below the enclosure.
  • With all the embodiments referred to above, it is very desirable that a top wall to the enclosure inclines upwardly in the direction of the front wall of the enclosure which has the opening through which the sound passes.
  • The sound speaker may be mounted behind an opening in one of the walls, preferably the top wall, of the sound receiving enclosure. A second enclosure may house the sound reproducing means, and allow access to an audio tape from which the sound is reproduced.
  • These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be clearly understood through a consideration of the following detailed description.
  • In the course of this description, reference will frequently be made to the attached drawings in which:
    • FIG. 1 is an overall, perspective view of a personalized audio visual combination incorporating the principles of the present invention supported upon a flat surface, such as a table top;
    • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectioned, side elevational view of the combination shown in FIG. 1 and showing the housing thereof in cross-section as viewed substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
    • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectioned plan view of the housing as viewed substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and
    • FIG. 4 is an overall perspective view of the housing from which the picture and sound reproducing components have been removed for purposes of clarity and in which the front wall of the housing is partially laterally displaced for access to the interior of the housing.
  • The present invention is directed to a reflective audio housing, generally 10, and the combination thereof with a picture frame, generally 12, as shown in FIG. 1.
  • The housing 10 generally comprises a pair of side walls 14 and 16, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a bottom wall 18, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, an intermediate wall 20 which is angled relative to the bottom wall 18, as also shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, a top wall 22 and a rear wall 24. The housing also includes a pair of front walls 26 and 28, as shown in FIGS. 2-4. The front wall 26 extends upwardly from the bottom wall 18 at an obtuse angle, as best viewed in FIG. 2 and as will be described in more detail to follow.
  • The intermediate wall 20 defines the top wall of a sound receiving enclosure 30, as shown in FIG. 2, together with the side walls 14 and 16, the bottom wall 18 and the front wall 26, the lower front of the front wall and a pair of generally triangular front side walls 31. The sound receiving enclosure 30 receives the sound which is transmitted by a conventional speaker 32, as shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the speaker 32 is preferably mounted adjacent wall 20 in overlying relationship to and facing an opening 34 in that wall and in spaced relationship to the obtusely angled front wall 26. Front wall 28 includes an enlarged opening 33 adjacent its bottom beneath wall 20 and facing the front of the assembly to allow sound, as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 2, to leave the sound receiving enclosure 30. Before the sound passes from the portion of the sound receiving enclosure 30 underlying the speaker to the obtusely angled front wall 26, it is repeatedly reflected within the enclosure. Following several such reflections, the sound leaves an elongate opening 36 in wall 26 so as to emanate frontally beneath the picture P which is displayed in the frame 12 and is deflected downwardly against the surface S of the table or other substantially planar surface upon which the combination is supported due to the obtuse angle of the front wall 26 and its opening 36. Thereby, the quality of the sound, both from the standpoint of tone as well as direction, is substantially enhanced to the listener who is positioned in front of the picture P. The quality of the sound is additionally enhanced due to the reflection which takes place within the sound receiving enclosure 30 prior to the sound emanating downwardly from the elongate opening 36.
  • It will be seen that a portion of the top wall of the sound receiving enclosure 30 prior to discharge of the sound from opening 36 may be defined by the bottom 38 of the picture frame 12, as shown in FIG. 2.
  • The bottom wall 18 also preferably defines a support for the housing 10 and picture frame 12 such that the housing 10 supports the frame in use. For this reason the wall 28 is preferably somewhat inclined so as to support the frame upright, but at a slightly reversed incline for ease of viewing. It will be understood that the bottom wall 18 may support the assembly directly on its bottom planar surface or upon feet or other elements which may be mounted upon or otherwise attached to the bottom wall 18.
  • The top wall 22 and lower intermediate wall 20, together with the upper portions of the side walls 14 and 16, the rear wall 24 and the front wall 28 define a sound reproducing enclosure 39 for receiving the speaker 32, as well as the sound reproducing means, generally 40, of the invention, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. By way of example, the sound reproducing means 40 may include a magnetic audio tape cassette playback assembly which, in addition to the speaker 32, may comprise a cassette playback chassis 42, a motor 44, a battery 46, a pinch roller assembly 48, a fly wheel 50, a capstan 52, a playback or record/ playback head 54, a drive belt 56, a conventional audio cassette 58 and other components of a cassette playback or record/playback assembly. The particular details of such cassette assembly are not part of the present invention and may be readily selected by those skilled in the art after considering the foregoing description of the invention.
  • It will thus be seen that the intermediate wall 20 of the housing 10 constitutes a major portion of the top wall of the sound receiving enclosure 30 and also the bottom wall of the sound reproducing enclosure 39 which contains the sound reproducing means 40. The speaker 32 is mounted adjacent intermediate wall 20 and is positioned to direct the sound through the speaker opening 34 and into the sound receiving enclosure 30 for reflection therein. Thus, the housing 10 provides an integral unit which contains both the sound receiving enclosure 30 and the sound reproducing enclosure 39.
  • The top wall 22 may also include a removable cover or hatch 60, as shown in FIGS. 1, and 4, for accessing the cassette 58. In addition, a removable cover or hatch 62 may also be provided, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, for replacement of the battery 46. Suitable openings 64 and 66 may also be positioned through one of the walls into the sound reproducing enclosure 39, for example in the back wall 24 as shown in FIG. 3, for access to an on-off switch 68 and volume control 70.
  • The front wall 28 is preferably mounted to the housing 10 such that it may be slidably removed to gain access to the sound reproducing enclosure 39 and sound reproducing means 40 for servicing of the latter. One manner in which this may be accomplished is shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 wherein the front wall 28, which is preferably of substantially the same width as that of the frame 12, may be slidably received in elongate grooves 72 in the top wall 22 and bottom wall 18 of the housing. The front wall 26 may be formed integrally with or attached to the bottom of wall 28, as best seen in FIG. 4. The opposite edges of the front Wall 28 may include screw holes 74, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, by which the front wall 28 and its housing 10 may be attached to the rear of the frame 12 to form an integral combination therewith, with the frame 12 resting upon front wall 26 to form part of the top wall of the sound receiving enclosure 30.
  • With the foregoing description of the preferred embodiment in mind, the sound from speaker 32 is projected into the sound receiving enclosure 30 in which it is reflected several times, as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 2, before it emanates from the opening 36 in the front wall 26 of the enclosure. As the sound emanates from the forward facing opening 36 it is further deflected downwardly due to the obtusely inclined opening 36 and its wall 26 so that the sound is reflected from the surface S upon which the combination rests and toward the listener who is viewing the picture P. Such reflections, both within the sound receiving enclosure 30 and off of the surface S, substantially improve the tonal, particularly the bass tonal quality, as well as directional quality of the sound to give the impression that the picture itself is talking. Moreover, because the sound is directed into the sound receiving enclosure 30, rather than frontally from the frame, a larger speaker may be employed which is capable of reproducing better bass response.

Claims (15)

1. A reflective audio-visual assembly adapted to stand on a planar surface (S), the assembly comprising a picture frame (12) adapted to receive a picture and display it to the front and means for mounting a sound speaker (32) in such a way that sound therefrom issues in the vicinity of the lower part of the picture frame (12), characterised in that the assembly is so constructed that the sound from the speaker (32) is directed into a sound receiving enclosure (30) and thence issues through an opening (36) at the front of the enclosure, the sound being directed forwardly and also deflected downwardly by sound deflecting means (26, 36, 38), so as to be reflected from the planar surface (S) on which the assembly is standing.
2. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein:
the sound receiving enclosure (30) includes a top wall (20), a bottom wall (18), side walls (14,16) and a front wall (26) in which the opening (36) is located, the said enclosure (30) being adapted to be supported on a substantially planar surface (S);
the picture frame (12) defines or is located over a portion of the top wall (20); and
the means for mounting a sound speaker (32) is located so that it directs the sound from said speaker (32) into said enclosure (30) at a location (34) spaced from the front wall (26).
3. An assembly according to claim 2, wherein said top wall (20) and bottom wall (18) are inclined relative to each other such that they are nearer each other at their edges remote from said front wall (26).
4. An assembly according to claim 2 or claim 3 wherein said front wall (26) is inclined at an obtuse angle relative to said bottom wall (18).
5. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein:
support means are provided for supporting said picture frame (12) on a substantially planar surface (S):
a housing (10) incorporates the sound receiving enclosure (30);
the enclosure (30) includes a front wall (26) adjacent the bottom of the frame (12), the opening (36) being located in the front wall (26).
6. An assembly according to claim 5 wherein said front wall (26) with said opening (36) is inclined at an obtuse angle relative to the surface (S) below the enclosure in order to deflect the sound downwardly.
7. An assembly according to claim 5 or claim 6 wherein the means for mounting a sound speaker (32) is located so that it directs the sound from said speaker (32) into said enclosure (30) at a location (34) spaced from the front wall (26), so that the sound is subjected to reflection within the enclosure.
8. An assembly according to any one of claims 5 to 7 wherein, when said enclosure (30) is located on the surface (S), a top wall (20) of the enclosure is inclined relative to the surface (S) such that the top wall (20) diverges from the surface (S) in the direction towards the front wall (26).
9. An assembly according to any one of claims 5 to 8 wherein said housing (10) supports also the picture frame (12) on the surface.
10. An assembly according to any one of claims 2to 9 wherein said opening (36) in said front wall is beneath said picture frame (12).
11. An assembly according to any preceding claim including an opening (34) in one of the walls of the sound receiving enclosure (30) so that the speaker (32) can be mounted outside the enclosure (30) with the sound passing through the opening (34).
12. An assembly according to claim 11, wherein said last mentioned opening (34) is in a top wall (20) of the enclosure.
13. An assembly according to any preceding claim including a second enclosure (39) adjacent said sound receiving enclosure (30), said second enclosure (39) being defined at least in part by one (20) of said walls, said second enclosure containing sound reproducing means (40).
14. An assembly according to claim 13, wherein said sound reproducing means (40) comprises audio tape playback means and the speaker (32), said second enclosure (39) is defined by at least a pair of walls (22, 20) including a bottom wall (20) which is the top wall of said sound receiving enclosure, the other (22) of said pair of walls including access means (60) for the audio tape.
15. An assembly according to claim 1 wherein the sound receiving enclosure is in the lower part of the assembly.
EP19840300438 1983-02-04 1984-01-25 Reflective audio assembly and picture Expired EP0116421B1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US06463978 US4541188A (en) 1983-02-04 1983-02-04 Reflective audio assembly and picture
US463978 2009-05-11

Publications (2)

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EP0116421A1 true EP0116421A1 (en) 1984-08-22
EP0116421B1 true EP0116421B1 (en) 1989-01-04

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Family Applications (1)

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EP19840300438 Expired EP0116421B1 (en) 1983-02-04 1984-01-25 Reflective audio assembly and picture

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US (1) US4541188A (en)
EP (1) EP0116421B1 (en)
CA (1) CA1213525A (en)
DE (1) DE3476007D1 (en)

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US8256568B2 (en) 2010-07-28 2012-09-04 Chin-Sheng Lin Protective sleeve having an external sound-amplifying member

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US5956682A (en) 1991-06-06 1999-09-21 Lj Laboratories, Llc Picture frame with associated audio messages and position sensitive or speech recognition device
US6185851B1 (en) * 1991-06-06 2001-02-13 Lj Laboratories, L.L.C. Picture frame with associated audio messages
US5182872A (en) * 1991-10-10 1993-02-02 Larry Lee Sound producing control switch for a picture-frame
US5360345A (en) * 1992-09-09 1994-11-01 General Mills, Inc. Audio instruction board
US5359374A (en) * 1992-12-14 1994-10-25 Talking Frames Corp. Talking picture frames
US5365686A (en) * 1992-12-29 1994-11-22 Scott James G Picture holder with a recorder/playback integrated circuit
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US5499465A (en) * 1995-03-13 1996-03-19 Eastman Kodak Company Pressure-sensitive switch for talking picture frame
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US8256568B2 (en) 2010-07-28 2012-09-04 Chin-Sheng Lin Protective sleeve having an external sound-amplifying member

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US4541188A (en) 1985-09-17 grant
CA1213525A (en) 1986-11-04 grant
EP0116421A1 (en) 1984-08-22 application
CA1213525A1 (en) grant
DE3476007D1 (en) 1989-02-09 grant

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